Chasing Cobblestones: Underfoot and Smothered in Asphalt in the Jersey City Heights

When I was on my recent Red Squares walking tour of Jersey City, I happened upon some street construction that gave me a chance for an aesthetic and professional mulligan: Exposed cobblestones on their way to disappearing again for three decades!

I whipped out my new iPhone 5S and awkwardly began taking photographs to make up for a previously lost opportunity articulated here in a comments stream from two months ago:

I did not take photos of the cobblestones! Gah! I was always mesmerized by them and felt such sadness that the beauty would soon be covered up. I’ll have to look for another street in the area to document! …

Our cobblestones were like square granite bricks and they were put in the street end down — creating a long-lasting, and deep stone that would never wear away. …

I only know the cobblestones here are so massive because I tried to dig one out to keep! I couldn’t do it. Too massive. Too heavy. Too deeply seated in 1600 soil! …

They just covered up the old cobblestones again. They’ll be hidden for the next 30 years until they re-pave it all again.

Here we go!  Caught, in situ, exposed cobblestones half-dead under hot, new, asphalt — and a burning morning sun — but now also half-alive for forever and a half-life, exposed, and memorialized here in this article!

Continue reading → Chasing Cobblestones: Underfoot and Smothered in Asphalt in the Jersey City Heights

Side Assaults and Medication Induced Nightmares

If you are on maintenance medication for depression or your heart or some other long-term illness, one thing you should always be aware of when taking a new medication is its effect on your dreams.  Your doctor may not care about your fruitful dream state, but you care because you must. Your dreams are the pathway to a prescient future.

Sometimes, the medicine-induced dream-influencing doesn’t happen for a few months, or the fitful sleep arrives in dribs and occasional drabs that leads to a dribbling memeing.  I discovered, through trial and error, and the momentary comparative experience, that Benicar, my blood pressure medication, was indicating horrific nightmares for many months.

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Dave Brubeck and the Reach for 92

Incomparable Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck died of a heart attack yesterday, one day shy of his 92nd birthday today.  He died on the way to a cardiologist appointment.  It’s hard to argue with the loss of a life at 90, but the Jazz universe will miss Dave Brubeck’s intense energy and dedication to cause because he brought mainstream popularity to chunky and abruptly pleasing music.

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Writing Letters to a Dead Man: Dr. Howard Stein in Memoriam

Yesterday, I received the one phone call I’d been dreading for over 30 years: “Howard Stein is dead.”  It turns out Howard died back on October 14, 2012 after an eight-day hospitalization, but I didn’t learn of his death until yesterday.   I knew he was deathly ill the last year, and when his surgeon recently refused to do a final operation, Howard told me his heart had finally turned against him and become a “ticking time bomb.”

As I paged back through my calendar for the last six weeks to memorialize the final events of my life with Howard, I reflected back on our final telephone conversation on October 1, 2012.  He told me how much he appreciated the letter I wrote celebrating his 90th birthday.  He said he read the letter every day.  That meant a lot to me.  He was my master.

One the first day of October, Howard and I left it that Janna and I would visit him in Stamford, and that he would check his doctor schedule and call me back to let us know what day would work best.

I never heard from him again.

A week later he was in the hospital — never to see the sky again.

As you can see in the graphic below, I tried to call him on October 5th and 11th to check on our visit date.  There was nobody home when I called.  On October 22 and November 13 I wrote him letters — our one, ancient, guaranteed way of always getting in touch when time and tide and humanity and the phones failed us — to inquire about the visit.

I had no idea was writing to a dead man.

Now I know how Bartleby really felt working in the Dead Letter Office.

Continue reading → Writing Letters to a Dead Man: Dr. Howard Stein in Memoriam

The OMRON 10 Series Home Blood Pressure Monitor Review

If you suffer from high blood pressure, you know how important it is to closely monitor your blood pressure at home.  For around $70.00 USD, you can buy the OMRON 10 Series home blood pressure monitor and give yourself of ease-of-mind while wincing throughout the monitoring process.

Continue reading → The OMRON 10 Series Home Blood Pressure Monitor Review

Conspiracy of False Hope: A Side of Statins with Your Big Mac

Trying to live a healthy life in a chemical world is tough — so I was delighted to read last week news that the American Journal of Cardiology was taking a stand against the high fat in fast food by countering the saturated fat intake with a side of statins at checkout:

Continue reading → Conspiracy of False Hope: A Side of Statins with Your Big Mac